Chapter 1a: "We need an intervention!!" (Ray, Nat, Julie)

1976, South California
The Sandoval couple is worried sick: their daughter, Elizabeth, ran off and joined a cult, the Temple of Concordance. They had no contact with her until recently, when she called them, clearly in a state of distress. The call ended abruptly, without any answer from Elizabeth about her status. The police checked up on the Temple, but found everything to be in order: Elizabeth is 21, practicing her right to worship as she wishes. The Sandovals decide to take matters into their own hands...

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Chapter 1a: "We need an intervention!!" (Ray, Nat, Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:56 pm

It's 11 o'clock in the morning, and downtown San Diego is bustling on this hot May weekend. People hurry around, carrying shopping bags, cars and taxis fill the air with nauseating exhaust fumes. But a small group of people gather to attend to some very serious business. Cult specialist Ray Tovar and his assistant Nat Waldner were contacted by Bert Sandoval and his wife, Lucy, with a purpose: to free their daughter Elizabeth from what they called the "clutches" of a destructive religious group. A meeting was set, and here we are now, in the (luckily, air-conditioned) conference room of a property development firm.

the Sandovals.jpg


Ray and Nat are greeted by a well-dressed middle-aged couple, the owners of the firm; but most importantly, the concerned parents of Elizabeth Sandoval. To the cult deprogrammers surprise, there is another person in the room: a young woman, already seated at the table. Her fiery red hair and youthful clothing is in a strong contrast with the formal grayness of the conference room.

"Welcome, Mr. Tovar," Bert Sandoval says, and extends his hand forward.

"Thank you for reacting on such short notice. Frankly, we didn't know who else to turn to... But please, take a seat," says Lucy Sandoval, and gestures towards the table. There is coffee, water and biscuits.

"And this is Julie Weber," Bert introduces the redheaded girl. "A friend of my daughter. She wants to help, too. I don't know whether that's, uh, reconcilable with your work methods, Mr. Tovar..."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby aine » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:12 pm

Nat looks at the Sandovals, thinking that their shirts make his eyes water and mumbles, "Okay if I have a coffee, Mr Torvar?" And he wanders over to the refreshments to help himself. He takes four biscuits and then stands there munching away looking out of the window.
Last edited by aine on Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:27 pm

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"Hi, thank you both for coming," says Julie to Ray and Nat. She is much shorter than Nat, though she has a very athletic build. "I'll do whatever I can to help you get Elizabeth back. She stopped communicating with me after she joined up with that group. You're the experts from what I hear, but I've got a few ideas that might help."
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Cotton » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:31 am

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Ray shakes hands with the Sandovals, and grabs a cup of water while the introductions are made. He takes a seat before saying, "I'm glad that Elizabeth has friends and family that are eager to help her break away from the cult that has ensnared her. This will be invaluable in the later part of her recovery." Ray turns to Julie, "Please ms Julie, Nat and I would be very interested in hearing your ideas."
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:09 am

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"Well, I could try to infiltrate the cult," says Julie. "I could go down there to see Elizabeth and make sure she's all right, and I could let her or the other members try to recruit me. I could learn all sorts of things about them and the layout of their building, and I could stick close to Elizabeth to protect her and to get her out of there when the time is right. Maybe I could wear a wire, so you could listen in, and I could alert you if there's trouble and I need to be pulled out immediately. Or do I just watch too many cop shows?"
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby aine » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:20 am

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From over by the window, Nat says, "You gotta be real careful, Miss. I followed my girlfriend to a cult, I thought I'd be alright you know but I got taken in; brainwashed! If it wasn't for Mr Tovar here, well, I'd still be there singing their mumbo-jumbo and, doing other, er, stuff you don't want to know." He finishes, casting an eye at the Sandovals.
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:37 pm

"I'm not sure, honey," says Lucy Sandoval, reacting to Julie's proposition. She's always felt quite protective about Julie, Elizabeth's best friend. "Sounds very dangerous... Brainwashing? Isn't that what they do in Vietnam!?"

"Lucy, please, don't panic. We don't know how dangerous exactly these cult folks exactly are," says Bert Sandoval, although he looks just as worried as his wife. "They call themselves the Temple of Concordance, but from what they've told us at the sheriff's office, they are not a registered official church. Just a small informal group. They live in a compound, a few acres of land in the desert, keep to themselves. No underage kids, no illegal activities" (Lucy Sandoval lets out a sigh of relief) "so the county law enforcement basically told us there's nothing they can do..."

He picks up a disappointingly thin manila folder from the table.

"I tried to do some digging around, but... well, I'm not a private investigator. But at least we know the location! That's important! We know where she's staying!"

"Or where they are keeping her!" Lucy Sandoval takes over. "When she called, she sounded so agitated, and just, you know, off! Julie, you know how calm she is usually! I could feel literally her trembling and shaking on the other end of the line. She said that she is "on the precipice". Those were her words! She was talking so much, so quickly. She even said "I'm scared, mom" at some point. But then her voice changed, and she just said "everything is fine, don't worry, say hello to papa," and hung up."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:58 am

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"She may have changed her attitude because someone else walked into the room," says Julie, looking as worried as Lucy. "That's a cry for help, and we have to answer it, and fast! I didn't know they could brainwash you even if you know exactly what you're getting into, but I may have to take that chance, for Elizabeth's sake. Mr. Tovar, you know more about this than anyone else here. What do you think?"
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Cotton » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:03 am

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Ray looks from Nat to the Sandovals to Julie, and rubs his chin contemplatively. "While its true that cults use forms of psychological conditioning to "brainwash" and control their members; this takes time, and it's never one hundred percent effective. In fact, its very possible that your daughter has already begun to break away from this "Temple of Concordance". And for that reason I think it might be possible for us to use ms Julie's plan." He reaches forward and takes the envelope from the desk. "First however we'll need to do some reconnaissance work."
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:46 pm

Ray takes the envelope. Its' contents are indeed scant... First, a document bearing the Imperial County Sheriff's Office's stamp slides out of it, followed by a recent photo of Elizabeth.

Sheriffs report.PNG
Elizabeth.jpg
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby aine » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:45 pm

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Nat looks over Ray's shoulder at the documents, "She's pretty; nice hair." He shrugs, "It's a small commune, be hard to get into without someone seeing us."
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:34 am

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Julie reads over Ray's other shoulder. "Maybe there are things we can find out about this Malcolm Cavendish," she says. "If he has a police record, for instance."
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Cotton » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:15 am

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Ray considers the envelope's contents. "Hmm. Slipping in unnoticed would certainly be a task, best left as our last course of action. Finding out more about this Cavendish and his group, however, is paramount. Education is the key to undoing group's like these." He looks back towards the Sandovals, "has Elizabeth ever mentioned where she heard of this Temple, or from who? Is there a place around here where they proselytize?"
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby aine » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:53 pm

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Nat mouths, 'Pro-sily, pro-?' looking rather bewildered.
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:03 am

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"Where they try to convert people," explains Julie. She isn't really any brighter than Nat, she just paid more attention in school.
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:42 am

Cotton wrote:He looks back towards the Sandovals, "has Elizabeth ever mentioned where she heard of this Temple, or from who? Is there a place around here where they proselytize?"

"No, she never discussed this! And now that I think about it, you know, she was never into religion that much. She believes in God, and would attend holiday services with us (we don't go that often ourselves). To think about how she had this whole other life she wouldn't talk about to us!" says Lucy Sandoval. Her husband is equally at loss. "We shouldn't have let her live on campus..."

Julie recalls certain names of new friends (or rather, acquaintances) Elizabeth mentioned, mostly in context of study groups, university activities.

Spoiler:
Feel free to ask targeted questions about Julie's knowledge about Elizabeth!


"Mr. Tovar, how do you usually do this research thing? Where will you start? Do you have sources, connections? Is there anything I can help with?" Bert Sandoval wonders.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:35 pm

Spoiler:
Who are these new acquaintances of Elizabeth's? Do I know of any who were into religion, New Age, or hippie lifestyles?
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby aine » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:12 pm

Nat smiles weakly at the sports girl, sporty and bright; lucky girl."I never went to college; had to work on the ranch. But there are some funny types there, I hear. Lots of secret societies and such." says Nat. He wanders over for another biscuit.
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:28 pm

The biscuits are chocolate chip.

Julie doesn't know anything about the religious/spiritual beliefs of Elizabeth's circle, but she knows that Elizabeth volunteered at a homeless shelter in San Diego with a couple of like-minded friends.
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Re: Chapter 1: "We need an intervention!!"

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:26 am

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"Elizabeth didn't hang with any of that sort as far as I know,' says Julie, smiling back. "She and a few friends volunteered at a homeless shelter in San Diego. Maybe she met someone in the cult there."
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